A martial arts teacher told me once, “If you want to be good, train when no one else is training…”. I not being the brightest bulb in the box took this at its most literal translation. So here I am throwing punches on my way to get a glass of water, kicking down the hall when I go to take a piss, swatting flies with what I hope are lightning fast backfists, and practicing my footwork while moving around the stockroom(this I am positive gave my supervisor an uneasy feeling about me when he walked in on what I can only assume looked like a schizophrenic believing himself to be attacked by a rabid group of capybara).
The point of this article isn’t to show you how unhinged I am, or that I was even a successful martial artist due to my strange training habits, but I’m sharing this story because that one conversation changed my perspective about skill integration, time management and getting shit done.
Like most people one of my worst enemies is time. To be specific “I don’t have enough time.” Time is a formidable foe to be sure, but sadly most of us aren’t even bothering to get in the fight. You hear us talk about skill sets over assets all the time, but what good are these skills without skill integration, sure you can learn a ton of stuff, but is it worth anything if you can’t exercise that skill under duress?
Around a PWP campfire you might hear such strange conversations as, “I got the fire going”, “yeah, but can you start a fire with a cricket and the lint from your belly button?” (PLEASE don’t try this… those poor crickets, I can still hear their screams). All joking aside, this type of banter should get one thinking, did you start that fire with your bic, matches, or gasoline? If your perspective is tuned to skill integration and your willing to take up the fight against “time” every fire you start you should be practicing(read integrating) the skills you have learned. If your lighting up the fire pit in the backyard cause your buds are coming over for a beer. Guess what you have nothing but “time”, your not lost, hypothermic, or otherwise in need of the blessings of fire. This is where time management comes in. Build a bow drill, a plow, find stuff in the yard or on your person as fire starter, at the very least get out your firekit (you have one right?) and use the ferro rod.
This type of everyday skill integration is what will matter when you actually need it. Shift your perspective to see what skills can be utilized during every day tasks. Do not become a victim of “I don’t have enough time”…. or you might actually become a victim in a bad situation.
Kris Anderson 2017